MOSCOW – At least four people have been killed overnight in flash floods in Russia's Black Sea region, officials said Wednesday.
The Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement that the people died late Tuesday night in the village of Novomikhailovsky. About 1,500 people have been evacuated from the area, and 600 houses were flooded. Electricity was cut off, leaving more than 11,000 people without power.
Officials said that the flood came after torrential rains caused the local river to burst its banks.
Investigators said they have identified two of the four casualties as a woman, 44, from St. Petersburg and a 46-year-old man from Krasnodar. Police said that they were driving late Tuesday night when their car was washed into a river and sank.
Authorities in the Krasnodar region, which will host the 2014 Winter Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, have been under pressure since July floods killed over 170 people in the region, including more than 150 in the town of Krymsk. Locals have complained that that there was no proper early warning system in place to alert the population.
Three Krymsk officials have been detained and suspected of failing to properly warn the residents about the coming floods. But Krasnodar Region Governor Alexander Tkachyov, who faced a barrage of criticism for mishandling the floods, has managed to keep his post.
Tkachyov wrote on his Twitter account Wednesday that this time people had been evacuated well in advance.